Archive for Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Robinson plays sparingly

Freshman sat out so Aldrich could play

Kansas guard C.J. Henry, right, and forward Thomas Robinson run a weave before tipping off against Memphis, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Kansas guard C.J. Henry, right, and forward Thomas Robinson run a weave before tipping off against Memphis, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

November 18, 2009

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Jayhawks barely edge Tigers

Kansas wasn't playing up to its potential Tuesday as the Jayhawks barely escaped with a two-point victory against the Tigers of Memphis. Cole Aldrich played a solid first half. Enlarge video

Kansas University freshman Thomas Robinson logged just two minutes in the Jayhawks’ 57-55 victory over Memphis.

“Thomas didn’t get a chance to play because if he played, then Cole can’t, because he (Robinson) can’t chase a guard around,” KU coach Bill Self said. Cole Aldrich, who earned MVP honors, scored 18 points with 11 rebounds and five blocks in 30 minutes.

Bumps, bruises: Both Elijah Johnson and Markieff Morris iced some sore knees after the contest. ... Sherron Collins suffered cramps in his right leg twice in the second half.

Showcase information: The Jayhawks received $100,000 for playing Memphis in the one-day Hall of Fame Showcase main event in St. Louis. Showcase organizers also paid for approximately 13 hotel rooms, KU senior associate athletic director Larry Keating indicated.

Also, the Jayhawks were allowed (per NCAA exempt-tournament rules) to schedule three home games as part of the Showcase: Thursday versus Central Arkansas, Oakland on Nov. 25 and Tennessee Tech on Nov. 27. All games start at 7 p.m.

KU will compete in the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 26 and 27, 2010. The Jayhawks will play Ohio on the night after Thanksgiving and Arizona the following night in Glitter City. KU also will play a pair of yet-to-be-determined opponents at Allen Fieldhouse in the event.

‘Big Red’ on hand: Former Kansas University center Matt Kleinmann, who is enrolled in the masters program for urban design at Washington University in St. Louis, attended the game. He also dined with the Jayhawks on Monday night upon their arrival at the team hotel, the Sheraton.

Youthful look: Memphis coach Josh Pastner, 32, is the third-youngest coach in NCAA Div. I.

“At times you can,” Memphis senior Willie Kemp said of being able to tell Pastner’s age. “He really cares. He’s laid-back. He’s not in your face yelling, but wants the best out of you.”

Facts, figures: Memphis entered with a 37-21 all-time record against Big 12 teams, including a 2-4 mark versus KU. KU entered 58-15 versus squads from Conference USA. ... The game matched two of the top three winningest programs since the turn of the 21st century. Duke entered the night with 291 wins to KU’s 282 and Memphis’ 267. ... Memphis entered with an 0-8 record against No. 1 teams. In Memphis’ last game against a No. 1, the Tigers fell to Ohio State, 92-76, in the 2007 Elite Eight. The last time Memphis faced a No. 1 team in the regular season was in 2005 when the Tigers fell to Duke, 70-67, in New York. ... Pastner went 3-4 against KU during his days as a player at Arizona. Pastner was on the 1997 NCAA title team that shocked KU, 85-82, in a Sweet 16 game in Birmingham, Ala. KU lost just two games that season.

Garcia out of action: Memphis’ Angel Garcia, a 6-11 forward from Puerto Rico who sat out last season because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues, tore his ACL in September and also will miss this season.

More on title game: Memphis senior Doneal Mack commented to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal on the Tigers’ 75-68 overtime loss to KU in the 2008 NCAA title game.

“It used to hurt at first. I can laugh about it now. It was a great game, and that was a great shot. It made history, basically,” Mack said, referring to Mario Chalmers’ game-tying three near the end of regulation.

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